Characterization Of Holden Caulfield

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Holden Caulfield is the protagonist and main character of the novel. He is a peculiar teenage boy, continuously failing out of schools and struggling to find people he can connect with. His hypocritical view of the world leaves him with a jaded and annoyed voice in his story telling, in spite of his intelligence and wit. Holden finds himself caught between childhood and maturity and his inability to discover his place leaves him depressed and confused. Phoebe, the antagonist of the novel, is Holden’s kid sister. She is spoken of fondly throughout the novel but is not introduced to the reader until the end. Her innocence is something Holden clings to for refreshment and hope in this uncertain point in his life. Allie Caulfield was Holden’s …show more content…

He begins his story at Pencey Prep, a school which bores him and leaves him disgusted. He fails out and is sent home. He tells the story of his attempt to avoid his parents’ punishment by exploring New York City rather than returning home. The majority of the novel discusses his thoughts and feelings at he wanders the city alone, struggling between a thirst for independence and his longing for the innocence and simplicity of childhood. Holden represents the typical teenager. He demands his independence and refuses to view himself as anything but invincible. In his mind, he has life figured out and everyone around him is simply stupid. He fails out of multiple schools and cannot manage to find friends because he is looking for his environment to cater to him. He does not want to put in the time or effort required to succeed. So he gives up. After talking to several adults about this book, this moment became a huge wake up call for me as a reader. I was reminded that Holden is lost because he refuses to see the world for what it is, choosing to live in the fantasy that somewhere life is greater. He seeks a place where life is easy, where everyone sees the world through his eyes, where he must put forth no effort. This is immature and shows that as much as Holden views himself as a grown up, he has not reached maturity. Like Holden, most teenagers, including myself, can attempt to grow up too fast. We crave freedom to make our own lives for ourselves. We too often want to skip the painful and messy steps of growing

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